Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 1344–1356 | Cite as

Persistence and dioxin-like toxicity of carbazole and chlorocarbazoles in soil

  • John Mumbo
  • Bernhard Henkelmann
  • Ahmed Abdelaziz
  • Gerd Pfister
  • Nghia Nguyen
  • Reiner Schroll
  • Jean Charles Munch
  • Karl-Werner Schramm
Research Article

Abstract

Halogenated carbazoles have recently been detected in soil and water samples, but their environmental effects and fate are unknown. Eighty-four soil samples obtained from a site with no recorded history of pollution were used to assess the persistence and dioxin-like toxicity of carbazole and chlorocarbazoles in soil under controlled conditions for 15 months. Soil samples were divided into two temperature conditions, 15 and 20 °C, both under fluctuating soil moisture conditions comprising 19 and 44 drying–rewetting cycles, respectively. This was characterized by natural water loss by evaporation and rewetting to −15 kPa. Accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) and cleanup were performed after incubation. Identification and quantification were done using high-resolution gas chromatogram/mass spectrometer (HRGC/MS), while dioxin-like toxicity was determined by ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) induction in H4IIA rat hepatoma cells assay and multidimensional quantitative structure–activity relationships (mQSAR) modelling. Carbazole, 3-chlorocarbazole and 3,6-dichlorocarbazole were detected including trichlorocarbazole not previously reported in soils. Carbazole and 3-chlorocarbazole showed significant dissipation at 15 °C but not at 20 °C incubating conditions indicating that low temperature could be suitable for dissipation of carbazole and chlorocarbazoles. 3,6-Dichlorocarbazole was resistant at both conditions. Trichlorocarbazole however exhibited a tendency to increase in concentration with time. 3-Chlorocarbazole, 3,6-dibromocarbazole and selected soil extracts exhibited EROD activity. Dioxin-like toxicity did not decrease significantly with time, whereas the sum chlorocarbazole toxic equivalence concentrations (∑TEQ) did not contribute significantly to the soil assay dioxin-like toxicity equivalent concentrations (TCDD-EQ). Carbazole and chlorocarbazoles are persistent with the latter also toxic in natural conditions.

Keywords

Carbazole Bromocarbazole and chlorocarbazole Dissipation EROD mQSAR Persistence Temperature Toxicity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was performed in Molecular EXposomics laboratory. It was supported by Helmholtz Zentrum München, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and National Council for Science and Technology-Kenya (NCST). Soil used in this research was provided by Dr. Arthur Reischl of Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Germany. We appreciate the Institute of Soil Ecology (IoSE) at Helmholtz Zentrum München for providing the Sand/Kaolin box used in the determination of soil water potential and space at the lysimeter for our soil incubation experiment. The support of Helmholtz Zentrum Library in getting access to relevant and current literature is also appreciated. We wish to thank Dr. Walkiria Levy for her contribution in the EROD bioassay, Ms Claudia Corsten and Mr Norbert Fischer of MEX for ensuring the biological and dioxin laboratories are set up for our experimental work and Mr Felix Antritter assistance with dioxin analysis. We also acknowledge the significant contributions of two anonymous reviewers.

Supplementary material

11356_2014_3386_MOESM1_ESM.doc (934 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 934 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Mumbo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bernhard Henkelmann
    • 1
  • Ahmed Abdelaziz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gerd Pfister
    • 1
  • Nghia Nguyen
    • 3
  • Reiner Schroll
    • 3
  • Jean Charles Munch
    • 3
  • Karl-Werner Schramm
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.German Research Center for Environmental Health, Molecular EXposomics (MEX)Helmholtz Zentrum MünchenNeuherbergGermany
  2. 2.Department für Biowissenschaftliche GrundlagenTechnische Universität MünchenFreisingGermany
  3. 3.German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Soil Ecology (ISE)Helmholtz Zentrum MünchenNeuherbergGermany

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